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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Pima County Community Services Employment and Training

Meet Javier

Workforce Challenge

Being in the classroom, says Javier Raygoza, was never something he was great at. He struggled academically and was too easily distracted when he was in a traditional school. He got into trouble, and finally just quit going to school altogether. He then got arrested for drug possession as a juvenile and things just kept getting worse.

Workforce Solution

Javier was 16 years old and in Pima County Juvenile Detention when he was given the option of becoming a student at Las Artes Arts and Education Center or remaining in Juvenile Detetion due to repeated probation violations. Javier chose the latter, and began attending Las Artes as a full-time student in April of 2008.

Javier would not describe his time at Las Artes as being without obstacles. Academics still did not come easily to him and he struggled with maturity issues while trying to meet the “real world of work” expectations of Las Artes. Javier almost gave up, because he thought it was too difficult for him to continue. Getting up early every day, working hard and having to abide by so many rules, were the hardest things he’d ever done. But after six months of perseverance, and getting a couple of second chances, Javier was able to graduate from Las Artes with his GED, in October of 2008.

A little over a year would go by before Javier understood that to get the kind of job he wanted, the kind he would enjoy, and the kind that would allow him to earn a decent salary, he was going to have to continue his education and increase his employable skill level. By utilizing Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding, Las Artes was able to provide Javier with tuition assistance. Javier’s Las Artes case manager was also able to procure additional tuition assistance from available ARRA stimulus funding. These funds together would cover most of the tuition cost for the program which did not accept Pell Grant funding.

Outcomes & Benefits

Javier began his training in January of 2010 at Dunbar Barber Academy in Tucson. His instructors report that he is on time every day, has excellent attendance and works hard. He’s earning A’s and B’s on all of his weekly exams. Javier says his instructors at Dunbar have taught him a lot and remarked to him that the talent and natural ability he has for being a great barber are something they rarely see in someone his age.

Javier is scheduled to complete his barber training in late October, 2010. He’s already received two job offers from area barber shops waiting to enlist his skills and talents.

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